Silverfish

Lepisma saccharina

  • SIZE

    3/8in to 3/4in long

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    No

  • WINGS

    No

Top-view illustration of a silverfish.
Side-view illustration of a silverfish.
A close-up of a silverfish on the ground.
A side-view close up of a crawling silverfish.

General Information

Silverfish get their name because of the silvery, metallic scales that cover their bodies.1 If these pests infest your home, they can be a real nuisance. This is because they can infest your food and leave unsightly stains wherever they hide. Find out more about these fast-moving bugs and how to help get rid of silverfish in the home.

  • Silverfish can live for several months without food.

  • They are fast runners and feed on almost anything.

  • Silverfish are wingless, so they cannot fly.

Details

  • Silverfish live in damp, cool places.

  • They require high-humidity environments.

  • Silverfish may also be found in bookcases, on closet shelves, and behind baseboards, windows, or doorframes.

  • They can eat stored food like cereals, but more often they just scavenge small crumbs.

  • They also have been known to eat paper that has glue/paste on it, including book bindings, and the stains in fabrics.

  • Silverfish can infest your family’s food.

  • They can stain the objects they hide in, such as books, cardboard, wallpaper, or stored clothing.

  • Valuable items like paintings, old books, and documents may also be damaged or have yellow stains.

  • Eliminate any exposed food and moisture.

  • Toss out old boxes and newspapers where silverfish like to hide.

  • Inspect paper, cardboard, books, and wood that is brought into the home.

  • Keep kitchen and bathroom floors, counters, and cupboards clean.

  • If you notice silverfish in damp areas of your home, try running a dehumidifier to make the area less humid, and therefore less appealing to these pests.

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